My virgin yoga class.

I attended my first yoga class 8 years ago. Nobody I knew around me was practicing yoga back then. It was consider fairly new, in my circle of family and friends. I learnt about yoga from magazine articles and decided to find out more on the Internet. After sourcing around, I decided to attend my very first beginner class.

To cut the story short, I did not know what I was doing during that 60-min class. I did tell the instructor that it was my 1st attempt, and all he replied was to just follow. and THAT was exactly what I did – follow his poses. He conducted that class from the platform he was standing on and kept telling us (me, especially) to follow what he was doing. Never once did he step down from that platform. Now, to cut the story even shorter, I did not go back to that yoga center/class again.

Fast forward 6 years later, (which is 2 years ago), I attended my 2nd yoga class. It happened on a day when my regular Body-Combat class was cancelled in the last minute and I did not want to waste my trip to the gym. I conveniently hopped into the next studio where a yoga class was about to start, and gave it a second chance. How unexpected.

The instructor was a petite lady with strong Scottish accent. She gently asked if anyone was doing yoga for the first time and I shyly raised my hand. I will always remember her reply to me “welcome to yoga! do not worry or be afraid, we will all learn together. Just one thing – do not forget to smile.” I was sold upon hearing this. Her tone and reply made me feel comfortable instantly, even when I was in a new environment.

Just half-way into the class, I was already telling myself I will return to her class. When she was not demonstrating a pose, she will always be walking around, correcting our poses. And the short and clear instructions she gave were so easy to understand. I remember leaving the class feeling good. It was a complete opposite of what I felt in my virgin class, 6 years ago. Needless to say, I started making time for a weekly yoga class in my gym ever since.

Last week when we were learning about giving instructions and how to conduct a class, this memory came into my mind. It is really important to be approachable and give the correct vibe and energy, especially to people who are new to yoga. They will have doubts and reservations. They have to feel at ease with you, before they can truly put themselves, in your hands, and to enjoy the practice. I was at the receiving end once. Fortunately, the 2nd impression was great enough to wipe that less-pleasant 1st impression off my mind.

Thinking back, if my Body-Combat class wasn’t cancelled that day, I may not have gone into yoga, again. How funny things happened in unexpected ways.

Do you remember your virgin yoga experience?

-Ashley
Sept Afternoon Batch